Clinton to greens: Get it done

Former president tells leading figures in renewable energy business to make the technology competitive on cost - and calls for heavier government support.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Steve Hargreaves, staff writer

Which money-losing Fortune 500 company is most likely to turn a profit this year?
  • GM
  • Citigroup
  • Macy's
  • Ford

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. -- Former President Bill Clinton urged renewable energy Wednesday to push ahead with efforts to make clean technologies cost effective and outlined steps the government and the private sector can take to usher in a new green era.

"The most important thing you can do is to prove that the transformation can be good economics," Clinton said in a keynote speech capping Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, which drew a mostly corporate crowd from firms big and small.

Making clean energy cost effective is important in popularizing the technology, but it would also counter criticism from those who say global warming is not a major threat, said Clinton.

Clinton highlighted the current recession and the economic challenges that it posed, but also said the nation should take advantage of the economic stimulus act to invest even more heavily in clean technology. He noted that China is doing just that: When measured as a percentage of its economy, China is engaged in a larger stimulus effort than is the United States.

"This thing will work itself out," Clinton said of the deep recession. "The only way for us to come out of this in a better way than we went in is to change the way we produce and consume energy."

To shepherd that change, Clinton said, the federal government should extend renewable energy tax credits, invest more money in building a better electric and do more to create a bigger market for hybrid and electric cars.

On the corporate side, he said efforts like those Wal-Mart has made to reduce packaging have had a big effect on cutting pollution. Clinton also urged more widespread construction of green buildings and a greater effort to organize financing.

He highlighted projects that his own foundation is working on to improve the environment, along with a partnership of 40 cities worldwide, including recovering methane from landfills in Mexico City, improving traffic flow in Seoul and making New York buildings more energy efficient.

"For those of us that don't have a vote in Congress or Copenhagen," said Clinton, referring to the upcoming climate talks in Europe, "the most important thing we can do is do."

Follow the Brainstorm: Green conference on Twitter at and top of page

Company Price Change % Change
Advanced Micro Devic... 25.69 -0.28 -1.08%
Bank of America Corp... 27.21 0.37 1.38%
Apple Inc 186.79 -1.95 -1.03%
General Electric Co 10.10 0.22 2.23%
Ford Motor Co 8.76 0.25 2.94%
Data as of 4:02pm ET
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 25,657.73 140.90 0.55%
Nasdaq 7,691.52 53.98 0.71%
S&P 500 2,818.46 20.10 0.72%
Treasuries 2.41 -0.01 -0.25%
Data as of 4:26pm ET
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.